Is My Child a Late Talker?
Late talkers…maybe not. Many parents are concerned that their child has speech delays when they enroll at Sunshine House…only to be amazed, a handful of months later, at their child chitchatting away. Preschool teachers and parents have amazing opportunities to spark language development and conversations. You likely are doing many of these strategies, without realizing it. For example, during snack time, you can engage children by asking them questions about their favorite snacks. Talk about colors, textures, or tastes of different foods. Here are a few additional methods Sunshine House uses, that you can also expand upon at home:
-Get down to your child’s level to speak with them
-Pay attention to what your child is saying and to body language
-Take turns talking. Children learn much faster, when we use back-and-forth conversation.
-Expand communication by adding rich nonverbal cues (looks, smiles, gestures).
-Be good listeners and give your child ample time to respond
-Speak in a clear, correct, and simple manner. Avoid using baby talk.
-Extend your child’s language. If they say “truck”. Say, “I see you’ve got a yellow truck.”
-Invite children to give explanations. “You’ve stacked 4 blocks. How did you do that?”
-Meaningful reading of books and extending language, new words and themes in other areas of the curriculum
-Read, using expression, gestures, and using different voices
-After reading a book, ask recall questions
-Look at the book and ask for predictions about what the book is about
-Singing, explaining new words
-Teaching nursery rhymes
-Teaching directional and opposite words (over/under, big/little)
-Use picture cards to teach new words
Late talkers…you have more opportunities to influence your child’s speech development than you probably even knew! Don’t give up…keep working these opportunities that you. Most often, being a concerned attentive parent, you worry needlessly about speech delays.